Light up awareness!

Why is smoking so often used to relieve the pressures and strains of everyday living? London based healer, Paolo Bisazza, looks a little deeper.

Observing the very act of smoking, when people light up a cigarette they take one in breath and one out breath with relief, inhaling and exhaling deeply. If it was not for the smoke, I would say that this is recalling a state of meditation, a kind of pranayama… In this way there may be a sense of creating some inner space. At that moment it seems that they can forget about any troubles in order to enjoy the in breath and out breath of nicotine, inviting some peace back through a kind of ‘nicotine-meditation’. I feel that perhaps, like all of us, they are instinctively employing a way to come back to the freshness of the present moment, where a problem cannot exist – as a problem can only live in the past or in the future.

I have been asked many times to give advice about the best way to help stop smoking. I would suggest do not fight the desire but to watch the initial cravings of the mind, therefore do not resist but be aware. When you reach for the packet, light up the cigarette and place it in your mouth, become aware of each sensation. Become aware of the mental, physical and psychological impressions; smoking very slowly so that you remain fully conscious at each step.

If you enjoy smoking then see how introducing awareness into this ritual has an effect upon the whole process. If you feel you want to smoke, just do it, with no guilt but with full awareness. Perhaps at one point the cigarette may just fall from your fingers for good…

Throwing the cigarette away or just stopping an addiction by will alone is sometimes just not possible. However, under the sparkle of consciousness, the habit is more likely to fall – just like a dead leaf falling from a tree. If we force ourselves to give anything up without going deeper and shedding light of awareness on the actual craving, we may possibly pick it up again in some other means or forms. I feel that the relinquishing of any habit comes from our amplified awareness – by the simple power of conscious observation.

The more we listen to that natural awareness always dancing in the background of our sacred life, the more we can truly let any hindrance of our existence disintegrate. Similarly to the dead leaves on the tree that fall beautifully with no struggle…and once on the earth’s floor are ready to create new life. Then a transformation can start to unfold – it might take time, it may need many moons and many seasons, but there is no hurry. Nothing to do, nothing to want, nothing to force. Bless life to be a deep letting go. All that ultimately matters on this path of awakening is taking one step at time, being aware of everything that is in us, looking deeply at what is true. At the very end, that truth is the only remedy, the only answer, the only solution that we essentially need. That truth is You. Light up awareness!


Paolo Bisazza is a London based mindfulness meditation teacher, Reiki master, shamanic practitioner and spiritual counselor.

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